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Yahoo's ice cream offer runs hot and cold

Yahoo's free Baskin-Robbins ice cream birthday bash played to a sellout crowd in Silicon Valley, but was a bust in the Bronx.

Yahoo's free Baskin-Robbins ice cream birthday bash played to a sellout crowd in Silicon Valley but was a bust in the Bronx.

A number of Baskin-Robbins stores in Silicon Valley reached their 300-cone limit in Wednesday's 10th anniversary Yahoo promotion and even was the topic of blogs. But while the ice cream run created a stampede at some Silicon Valley stores, it earned fewer cheers in the Bronx.

"We got 23 or 25 coupons yesterday," said an employee at a Baskin-Robbins on Bartow Avenue in the Bronx. "Usually, those things don't generate a lot of people coming in."

Is it a contrast in culture that's driving the free-ice-cream divide, or a matter of climate? After all, consuming a scoop of ice cream on a fairly sunny 61-degree day in San Jose, Calif., is far different than trudging out with your coupon in snowbound New York City.

An employee at the Baskin-Robbins in the Almaden Plaza in San Jose said more than 100 people came to the store with printouts of Yahoo's free-ice-cream coupons in the first five hours the store was open.

By 6 p.m., a Baskin-Robbins in neighboring Santa Clara had posted a sign in its window saying it had hit its limit of 300 giveaway scoops.

Terms of the promotion limited the offer to one coupon per customer, while supplies lasted, until the first 300 coupons were presented for redemption at each store. The offer was valid only Wednesday and applied to U.S. continental stores.

Qatar, Kuwait and the Cayman Islands were out of luck.